I could not agree more with Olga Simoncelli 's post, and as I keep emphasizing with my staff, "document everything", you never know when it may come in handy.
To Be Good at Your Job, Learn to Take Good Notes
If you were not a note-taker in school, it's not too late to start. These days many lectures are recorded or available for viewing online on various educational platforms such as Blackboard. We didn't have that when I went to school, so one had to develop note-taking skills during lectures.
Good notes became such a valuable commodity for doing well on college tests that competitive pre-med undergrads at ivy league schools were known to hide their classmates' notes in an evil attempt to secure better grades/higher GPA's/easier entry to med school of choice.
In the business world, it's okay to take notes during meetings with clients. In fact, I would dare say you would garner respect from your audience for taking their words seriously enough to jot them down. You would also make them feel good that you find their thoughts noteworthy.
In addition to ensuring you remember what your clients are saying, you could be making [very brief] notations to yourself as to how you might want to respond later, without interrupting the speaker and making certain you don't forget what you wanted to say!
Don't be afraid to ask for clarifications to avoid misunderstandings. Soon after the meeting, summarize in an email, reiterating points covered during the encounter. Refer to your notes for accuracy. If any questions arise during the meeting that you could not answer at the time, research immediately and provide response or at least an update as to when you might have it, or where you are with it (e.g. "waiting for response from Town Hall; back to you as soon as hear back; hope tomorrow").
If any outstanding issues are to be resolved or plan of action to be formulated, outline it in your email. Ask clients to confirm your understanding by return. By doing that you accomplish three things:
1. Document what was discussed or agreed.
2. Get clients' written concurrence.
3. Establish a "to do" list for easy follow up.
And that will be just a small, but important part of your job. With good note-taking, you will be on a better footing to succeed. Good luck!
Note: Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.
Your Real Estate Consultant and “green broker”.